Once again we have entered into another presidential election season and the great state of Ohio, my native state in which I currently reside, is one of those battleground states. Every four years Ohio is referred to as a "bellwether." I am personally very tired of that word. It's overused and has become boring. Instead, I think we should start referring to Ohio as a trend-setting state. Hey, if topics can trend on Twitter, Ohio can trend in presidential elections.
The fact that Ohio is a bellwether... umm... I mean a trend-setting state in presidential politics, means, among other things, that we will be seeing plenty of President Obama and Governor Romney on the campaign trail over the next few months, as well as VP Joe Biden and whomever Mitt Romney chooses for his running mate. No Republican President has won the White House without Ohio (if one reckons Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president), and the last time a Democratic president was elected without Ohio was in 1960, when John F. Kennedy lost the state but carried the election. The only other person to win the presidency not via Ohio in the twentieth century was Franklin Roosevelt when he was reelected in 1944.
So, over the next few months, the Buckeye State is going to get plenty of attention on the presidential campaign trail, and I am OK with that. I hope we Ohioans are very hospitable to President Obama and Governor Romney and their entourages. It's nice to know we are loved at least every four years.
But the one thing that has already started which I wish would simply go away are the campaign ads on the television and the radio. Now, when I am watching television and any political spot comes on the screen, I press the mute button. There are few things in life that are filled with more twisted half-truths and outright lies than political advertisements. Both sides are equally guilty and they engage in such nefarious behavior because they know that such campaigning works. So, we the voters continually say in poll after poll how much we hate negative campaigning, but we allow ourselves to be persuaded by it. Perhaps it is true that weak minds are easily convinced.
And that is the pain suffered in being a battleground state-- we must tolerate demagoguery, falsehood, character assassination, truth-twisting, and the incessant distorted promotion of one's political successes for months. And we will have to suffer through it until after November 6, 2012. Yes, indeed, I will be using the mute button on the TV remote and turning down the radio in my car quite frequently; and I will be silencing both sides. Maybe I am too cynical, but I am very suspicious when people wanting power tell me they are speaking the truth.
So, this Buckeye welcomes all the campaigners to our great state. But if I had one hope, it would be that we could go at least a little longer before having to endure the constant ads on TV and the radio trying to convince us that the only one person can save the country while the other will run it into the ground.
Yes, I wish we could go a little longer without such nonsense... not too much longer... say... up until... November 5th.